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Alternatives for achieving naturalized citizenship

Some people who are now living in Florida and who have emigrated from a foreign country may be interested in obtaining United States citizenship through naturalization. Like all countries, the U.S. has its rules, procedures and forms that are required in order to progress through visa status to citizenship.

Briefly, there are several paths to becoming a naturalized citizen in this country, and each has its own requirements and paperwork. After five years of permanent residency and meeting other requirements, a person may apply for citizenship. A person who meets the eligibility requirements to file as the spouse of a citizen must fulfill a three-year residency requirement. A person who has served in the U.S. military and has met other requirements has additional options toward citizenship, and the child of a citizen is given yet another method for obtaining citizenship.

Each method entails certain forms as well as the meeting of other requirements. There are other options, depending on the person's circumstances, that could qualify him or her to apply for naturalized citizenship.

Many people, when they are ready to take the important step toward obtaining U.S. citizenship feel more comfortable about the process if they have consulted with an attorney who may act as his or her advocate. The attorney may be able to ensure that the appropriate forms are completed accurately and filed timely. Delays, mistakes and misinformation could prolong the procedure and make it more costly. An attorney can help guide an applicant through the system, answer questions he or she may have at the start and those that come up at various steps and make sure that the person's rights are respected.

Source: USCIS, "Citizenship Through Naturalization", September 16, 2014

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